"Thousands of people get in inner tubes, some of them decked out with boomboxes, fully loaded bars, restaurants practically, sitting in tubes that gently float down the Salt River for about 25 miles. There are these buses that will take you back to your car. Sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water are my recommendations for anyone who's going to take on the river. There are four lakes in and around Phoenix: Saguaro, Canyon, Apache, and Roosevelt. Roosevelt is great for water-skiing. Water like glass and very cool, deep colors all around. But if you go, wear lots of lotion. I'm no doctor, but I suggest a sun protection factor of at least 270."

"There's the Royal Palms Hotel, which isn't too far from The Phoenician. Warm environment, great decor, feels like old Arizona. It's a really great place for drinks. There's no place like sunset in the desert. There's a reason people have margaritas at dusk in Arizona. I don't think there's anyplace in the world that takes on the colors that it does."

"Roy's in Phoenix is Pacific Rim cuisine. They're incredibly friendly there. People in Arizona are just, in general, very friendly and hospitable. Bloom is a restaurant up in Scottsdale. It's very happening. There's Pinnacle Peak Patio in Scottsdale, an indoor/outdoor cowboy steakhouse that's been around forever."


The Drive

"Prescott is a great little town on the way from Phoenix to Sedona. It's an easy getaway from Phoenix for the day, and it has a little of new and old Arizona. There's horseback riding up there along rivers, streams, and rock beds. Beautiful. You can also detour to the Greer Lodge in the White Mountain Area. Greer isn't much of a town, but the lodge is nestled up there 10 miles from Sunrise Ski Resort and has a real charm to it. Go there for a few days and just listen. You'll hear nothing. And what's wrong with that?"